Put in a submission on the Open Space Policy 29.7.2012

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Here’s a Council consultation to comment on. Right away.

Do you want your assets sold because a council officer can’t see value in them?

I think not.

Here’s the link.

I wonder if this has something to do with the two unknown men walking along the breakwater a year or more ago who were overheard say ‘While they’re going on about [the Laman Street] trees, we’ll be selling pubic land.’

Have a read – it’s a frighteningly short document that no doubt hides a Pandora’s box of enough rope to hang us all.

Page 4 says:

Acquisition and Disposal:
7.1    Council (as custodian of Land) will maintain ownership and control of Land unless there is a significant community strategic benefit in disposing of the Land and facilities.

 
7.2    Land considered to be surplus will be assessed against criteria to determine the community, economic and environmental benefit for now and in the future.

 
7.3    Funds generated from the sale of Land that has been used for a community asset or open space will be held in trust in the Land and Property Reserve and reinvested to acquire Community Land or embellish a Community Asset or Open Space based on the priorities set in the long term financial plan.

Who would you like to make the decision about whether land should be disposed of? The manager who says pocket parks are ’empty assets‘ or the manager whose answer to Laman Street disquiet is to avoid community consultation next time?

These should be decided case by case by the elected Council and there should be no wishy-washy policy written by people whom we no longer trust. The idea that we should be divesting Council of land is flawed to start with.

Tell ’em they’re dreamin’.

By tomorrow afternoon Mon 30th July 5pm.

General Manager
The City of Newcastle
Attention:  Draft Community Assets and Open Space Policy
PO Box 489
NEWCASTLE  NSW  2300

or email:  mail@ncc.nsw.gov.au  by close of business Monday 30 July 2012.

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And here’s a picture of the Children’s Pavillion at the rear of the Art Gallery. This building has been neglected in my view by the gallery for years. Now Council is about to demolish it, even though it could be re-used by community groups. Typical.

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